Embla utilizes the latest in 3D printing technology to create unique geometric candles.
For centuries, candles have been made the exact same way and while technology continued advancing at a rapid pace, the home goods market stayed relatively unchanged.
Evgenia and Greg saw the need for a fresh, modern take on candles. And after years of their own tinkering and experimenting, they have found a way to combine state-of-the-art 3D printing technology with old-world manufacturing techniques to create candles with precision and with the care and craftsmanship that only something handcrafted can have.
Since 2016, Evgenia and Greg create designer candles by hand, and have recently opened a store in the Mission.
We got a chance to interview Embla’s Co-Founder, Evgenia Valieva, in December 2018.
Evgenia, how did you and Greg meet, and how did you first get the idea for Embla?
Greg is originally from Australia and I’m from Russia. We met while studying at Academy of Art University. Even though we were from opposite sides of the world we found we have a combined passion for art, technology, and beautiful living.
Originally Greg started in the 3D modeling/printing industry as he was fascinated with the possible applications of it. We both loved candles, particularly how much they added to the décor with their look and fragrance. So the answer was obvious – Embla came to be by combining our passions and desire to create something fresh, innovative and sustainable.
For years, we’ve been tinkering and working on refining our candle creation process until we had a product we were proud of!
We’ve been in business for about a year and a half and we have come up with a library of unique shapes. We’ve also perfected our production process and developed some great retail packaging.
Where can we find your products now?
On our website, of course! We have also recently expanded into wholesale and started selling in stores. We’re proud to say that now you can purchase Embla in 10 stores across the United States – you can find our list of stockists on our website.
Earlier this year we opened our first storefront in the Mission District [at 3150 18th Street #105, San Francisco]. It’s a perfect location as it’s very eclectic and diverse. People are always open to trying out new things and are instantly attracted to our products. Many sales come from people passing by and falling in love with the fragrances and aesthetic appeal of our candles. It has proved to be a valuable addition to our online store, where the majority of our sales still happen.
What’s new at Embla?
We just launched an Augmented Reality feature on our website, and you can find a demo on our Youtube channel.
Now, anyone with an iPhone can preview our candles in their space without having to download any additional software. We are the first candle company to integrate AR technology into the e-commerce experience and so far our customers have been very receptive to it. A lot of people have mentioned that they see our candles as mini art installations, so they’re very excited to use the AR feature as a tool to help them visualize our candles as part of their décor.
We also recently traveled to Grasse, France, to partner with Galimard, which is one of the oldest perfumeries in the world. Our fragrance collection now has five new French fragrances available for purchase.
We have also partnered with Planet Bee Foundation in Marin County, a program that focuses on educating the younger generation about bee preservation, and 10% of all Embla candles sold are now going towards this noble cause!
What should we look forward to from you?
We have lots of ideas and plans to expand our product offerings to include other home goods!
We want Embla to be a one-stop shop for creating a perfect relaxing oasis in your home.
Why manufacture locally?
We believe in giving back to the city that gave us so much. Embla was born in San Francisco and we would like it to continue to grow in our beautiful city. We also like to keep producing our candles in-house to maintain our rigorous quality control.
Why did you join SFMade?
We joined SFMade as we understand the value of learning and growing with a community. When you are starting a business, it feels very lonely at first and it seems you are the only ones facing certain challenges. Meeting fellow business owners with similar challenges and having access to the resources and support has been incredible. Throughout the years we have met so many great local manufacturers and made a lot of new friends.
~An interview by Pierre at SFMade. Thank you Evgenia!